Deposed Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback Josh Freeman doesn’t want to be traded, but thinks a move might be the best thing for him and his career going forward.
Freeman, who declined an interview request from local reporters on Thursday, spoke exclusively to ESPN later in the day, answering a question regarding his desire to be traded by saying it probably is his best option.
“I don’t (want to be traded) for a number of reasons, but the bottom line is, you know, if you want things to change, something’s got to change,’’ Freeman told ESPN. “At the end of the day, yes. I think that moving forward that might be, that is going to be, probably the best option.”
Head coach Greg Schiano announced the benching of Freeman on Wednesday after the Bucs’ 0-3 start. Rookie third-round draft pick Mike Glennon will start against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
“The bottom line is I can’t worry about everyone else,” Freeman said. “I can’t worry about what everyone is doing. I have to focus on the best situation for me. The head coach has come out and said that this isn’t the place for me to be a starting quarterback.
“He doesn’t think I give this team the best chance to win. I don’t agree, but at the same time, I’m a player, he’s the coach. You know, whatever happens next, I’m moving on. I’m going to be excited to go out and make the most of any situation.”
Freeman’s slide down the Bucs’ quarterback depth chart might not be over.
Schiano said earlier this week that Freeman would be the No. 2 quarterback behind Glennon and ahead of veteran Dan Orlovsky on Sunday, but was not willing to commit to that plan Friday.
“I understand the question and I appreciate it, but I feel like this has been a focus all week and I’m not going to go there,’’ Schiano said. “Ninety minutes before the game, I’m going to name who our 46 active guys are, the guys who are up, and we’re going to go play. I’m locked in now and our team is locked in. I’m done discussing all that other stuff. Let’s go win a game. That’s our goal.’’
Freeman again declined to speak to local reporters on Friday, but his agent, Erik Burkhardt, said a move to deactivate Freeman would not surprise him.
“Nothing they do would surprise me,” Burkhardt wrote in a text to The Tampa Tribune.
Schiano would not say whether Freeman’s decision to speak to ESPN would have any impact on his status for the game.